Marine waste disposal permits for Nordic Mining’s Engebø mining project were granted lawfully, according to a decision released today by Oslo District Court. NRK reported that the court sided with the government, which defended the case. Friends of the Earth Norway and Young Friends of the Earth Norway had alleged that Norwegian government departments granted licences to Nordic Mining in breach of EU directives on extractive waste and water quality, without adequately considering alternative disposal methods, and on the basis of insufficiently high estimates of the environmental consequences. The permits, revised on 21 June 2023, allow Nordic Mining to dispose of 170 million tonnes of mining waste in Førdefjord over the mine’s projected 39-year lifespan. The waste will include finely crushed rock and chemicals used to process titanium dioxide and garnet silicate ore.

Friends of the Earth Norway spokesperson Kristian Skjellum Aas said a decision on whether to appeal would be announced “by the end of the month.” The organisation also said it had been ordered to pay the State’s legal costs, which amount to NOK 1.4 million (£106,657.73).

Clouds descend over the mountains around Førdefjord, in which Nordic Mining plans to deposit millions of tonnes of mining waste per year.